The Olympics Comes To The Air Force

Competition includes 3d laser scanning

You may be wondering what type of Olympics the United States Air Force has done. Maybe you didn’t even know there was such a thing. There is, but it doesn’t involve running, jumping, gymnastics, or anything else you may think about. In fact, it has everything to do with engineering and technology. 3D laser scanning has officially made its way into the Advanced Manufacturing Olympics (AMO) hosted by the Air Force.

AMO’s goal was to identify some of the most common problems the military runs into and fix it. This puts a competitive edge on the way to update the latest and greatest technology and a way for teams in the military to be recognized for their hard work. The event showed off each person’s unique tool, and each team explained what the problem was and how their tool could solve those problems. The event was virtual, and the winner had the chance to win one million dollars.

There were five technical challenges, and in each category was a high placed winner. Each of the challenges focused on facing what the military encounters daily. Hopefully, the winners of each challenge will go on to add this equipment to the Air Force.

Who was the first place winner

64 teams set out to face this challenge, and all did an excellent job. Each group constructed something that helped solve real-world problems that the Air Force encounters daily. This is no easy task, and it was hard to choose a winner since all did such a phenomenal job. However, there was one clear winner for each challenge.

MakerGear was the first place winner in 2020 at the Advanced Manufacturing Olympics. The first technical challenge was to 3D print parts to use in the field. This can be one of the most important aspects of the military. When they don’t have access to certain pieces, it can cause danger zones and hazards. Finding the right technology to help with this problem was absolutely essential, and MakerGear nailed it.

The second challenge was coming up with tools that could help reverse engineering. This can be crucial in the military and time-consuming for many soldiers. The highest place went to Wichita State University who used a 3D laser scanning device to complete this challenge. 3D laser scanning is slowly emerging in the military, but hopefully, it will be more prevalent after this demonstration.

The third challenge is identifying aluminum alloys, which would help with additive manufacturing in the military. This was won by EOS M290 and Elementum 3D.

The fourth challenge was so well executed by many groups; there was a tie between three. The groups are called nTopology, Origin, and Stress Engineering Services. This was focused on approval sprints and had to be executed on a timeline, unlike any other. They each offered clamp designs for a jet that helped shape the way the jet runs.

The last challenge was where each team proposed supply strategies for the United States Air Force. How they could use 3D laser scanning and 3D printing to help enhance the supply chain. The winners of this? SIMBA Chain proved that their additive manufacturing could truly benefit the military.

Final thoughts

Though this was done in all seriousness and many advancements were made, this was a fun way to share with the world everything that 3D laser scanning can do. Many teams won money that will help them grow as a team or business. The United States Air Force may even be implementing some of this technology and relying on it.

Keep reading: more articles about 3D scanning

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